Scandium 50mm Lucite Cube
Scandium 50mm Lucite Cube
A favorite seller in the element collecting crowd, scandium's fame comes from lack of it: the pure metal is exceptionally rare and is too expensive and irregularly available to be called a "commodity" even among rare metals traders. Prices per kilogram typically range in the ten- to thirty thousand dollar range depending on purity and source. At these prices scandium easily makes it into the precious metals club.
Except where anyone with the money can buy a kilo or ten of gold at a moment's notice, scoring a kilo of scandium is a little like buying a rare art piece. The interested buyer places an order with a dealer who then shops around a list of various likely sources who in turn may contact upstream dealers or manufacturers. Oftentimes the deal is complicated by the fact that the lab or refiner may only want to produce a batch only for a multi-kilogram order because the process of extraction and refinement, coupled with the sketchy demand, makes it unprofitable otherwise. When this happens it's often the case that several dealers have to pool resources to complete the order.
While mining and recovery of scandium takes place in many different countries, only China and Russia are currently involved in its production. And while Russia has a handful of labs specializing in extracting and purifying scandium their output tends to be of exceptionally pure samples meant for use in specialized projects in science. China's approach is more industrial and targets the few commercial and military applications for which scandium has been found useful.
With so little new scandium coming onto the market each year (estimates are only about 50 kilos annually!) this means that scandium-as-decoration, destined to sit on desktops and coffee tables, actually makes for a not insignificant percentage of that total now that the elements collecting community is growing so rapidly. Soon it may very well be the case that scandium will eventually go on to be sold as outright bullion by the major merchants in precious metals. If/when this happens it will certainly push the prices higher still.
Here's your trophy piece: a little one gram or so piece of 99.995% pure scandium with a dense clustering of dendritic branches; curly fiber shoots that form as very pure scandium metal solidifies in an inert atmosphere. As with the rest of our cubes on this page, this sample comes beautifully encased in an optically clear block of Lucite acrylic measuring five centimeters per side. It fits perfectly on our large display case but will look just as beautiful sitting by itself wherever you keep your most prized collectibles!